Light alloys, like Al, have shown to be good options for replacing steel in many sectors due to higher thermal conductivity and weight reduction they allow, which has become crucial e.g. for e-mobility. However, without protection, recycled Al is prone to corrosion under operation in harsh environments (e.g. heat exchangers in heat storage units, components in motors needed to be frequently cleaned with harmful chemicals).
The Sure2Coat project will enable the use and uptake of Al in new sectors involving products with complex shapes, by new sustainable manufacturing methods with lower energy consumption for end users. Corrosion is a major challenge with an annual global cost of $2.5 trillion. It is therefore fundamental to develop and validate new surface treatments to produce corrosion resistant and conductive coatings for new applications.
Sure2Coat will develop and validate new surface treatments for light alloys (anaphoretic e-coating, laser structuring, composite-PEO coating) in three use cases in which energy usage is key: Electrical engines, Heating systems and Heat storage units.
Sure2Coat pays special attention to effective design for future integration into their respective production lines.
Sure2Coat's target is to increase the energy efficiency by 50-60% and increase the use of recycled Al by 70% by using surface treatments and innovative production technologies (casting, virtualisation), with lower energy consumption (from 10%) during manufacturing.
For an industrial point of view, a prerequisite for succeeding is continuity in manufacturing R&D&I projects and training/education of required staff, which Sure2Coat will foster by broad dissemination and exploitation of the project results across the manufacturing value chain. Sure2Coat will result in strengthening the European manufacturing value chain by developing European industries with leading-edge technologies on manufacturing materials and allowing for accelerating roll-out for green transition.